poemless. a slap in the face of public taste.

May 14, 2010

Would the real Andrei Kolesnikov please stand up? please stand up?

Filed under: Culture: Russia,Politics: Russia — poemless @ 5:50 PM

Attention! Wikipedia writer and detective needed! See below for details!

There are two Andrei Kolesnikovs who are award winning journalists covering politics in Russia’s leading papers.

I didn’t even know this until today, when an aquaintance posted a link to this absurd little fantasy from Forbes Russia. The confusion began when I saw the byline “Андрей Колесников | 13 мая 2010 22:03” and subconsciously mistook Forbes for Kommersant. Which, really, is not so incredible. It’s a silly article in capitalist rag written by Andrei Kolesnikov. It would be strange if I didn’t mistake it for Kommersant.

However. The fellow whose picture is ostensibly that of the journalist Andrei Kolsenikov in said article looked nothing at all like what I imagined Andrei Kolsenikov looked like. Which is this:

I generally don’t pay attention to what journalists look like (except Latynina because how can you not?) but this a pretty unforgettable mug. And looks nothing like this:

Which is what the fellow writing in Forbes looks like. My first thought was that this was some prank. Kolesnikov has always struck me as a mischievous sort who likes attention… Or, he’d been in a terrible accident and needed a full face transplant. I googled to find out what tragedy had befallen our once impish looking reporter such that he now looks like the Spanish MBA student who takes my bus in the evening.

The genius who wrote this was not helpful:

en.Wikipedia: Andrey Kolesnikov

For a soccer player, see Andrei Kolesnikov (footballer).

Andrey Vladimirovich Kolesnikov (Russian: Андрей Иванович Колесников) is a Russian journalist, an author of a series of books about Anatoly Chubais.

It’s greatly unfortunate that this was the first thing I found, because it only reinforced my belief that there were two Andrei Kolesnikovs who were the same person in English, but different people in Russian. And lo, Russian wikipedia listed them separately!

ru.Wikipedia: Колесников, Андрей Иванович

Андрей Иванович Колесников (1966(1966), п. Семибратово Ярославской области) — российский журналист, публицист.

Окончил факультет журналистики МГУ им. М. В. Ломоносова, год проработал в многотиражной газете «Ускоритель» института физики высоких энергий, затем в газете «Московские новости». В 1996 году перешёл в газету «Коммерсантъ» специальным корреспондентом. Лауреат национальной премии «Элита», обладатель премии «Золотое перо России», номинант премии А. Д. Сахарова. Вместе с Н. Геворкян и Н. Тимаковой в 2000 году подготовил книгу-интервью с В. В. Путиным «От первого лица». Является автором многочисленных статей о В. В. Путине.

Главный редактор журнала «Русский пионер».

Книги А. Колесникова
Я Путина видел! — М.: Эксмо, 2004. — 480 с. — ISBN 5-699-08721-4 …

Ok, so that’s who I thought Andrei Kolesnikov was. If the Russians can be trusted (hah!) Ivanovich is the man I’ve always associated with the name “Andrei Kolesnikov.” And the puckish smile. I think. But there is not photo on this Wikipedia page to confirm that belief, and I’ve never met him in person, so…
Next up, Andrei Vladimirovich Kolesnikov:

ru.Wikipedia: Колесников, Андрей Владимирович

Андре́й Влади́мирович Коле́сников (р. 29 июля 1965, Москва) — российский журналист.
Родился в семье юриста. Окончил юридический факультет МГУ (1987).

1987—1990 — старший консультант судебной коллегии по уголовным делам Верховного Суда РСФСР.
1990—1992 — обозреватель журнала «Диалог».
1992—1993 — обозреватель газеты «Российские вести».
1993—1995 — обозреватель журнала «Огонёк».
С 1995 года — в журнале «Новое время» — The New Times: обозреватель, заместитель главного редактора, с января 1998 — 1-й заместитель главного редактора.

С 1998 года — в газете «Известия»: в июне — сентябре 1998 — редактор отдела экономики; в сентябре 1998 — январе 2000 — редактор отдела политики; с января 2000 — политический обозреватель; с февраля 2005 — заместитель главного редактора.

Был обозревателем интернет-газеты Gazeta.ru, колумнистом «Российской газеты» и журнала «Профиль», постоянным автором «Независимой газеты» и газеты «Новое русское слово» (США), журнала «Огонек», заведующим московским отделением литературного журнала «Время и мы» (США), обозревателем программы «Человек и общество» московского бюро радио «Свобода». В апреле 1997 — главный редактор первого номера антифашистского журнала «Диагноз».

В ноябре 1997 года «Общая газета» назвала Андрея Колесникова одним из авторов книги «История приватизации в России». Сам Колесников в интервью программе «Сегодня в полночь» заявил, что он редактировал главы, авторами которых были А. Чубайс и М. Бойко.[1]

Преподавал в Высшей школе журналистики ГУ-ВШЭ (курс «Базовые понятия и тематические направления политической журналистики»[2]).

В 2001—2005 — исполнительный директор по связям с общественностью аудиторско-консалтинговой компании ФБК.

Был пиар-консультантом и спичрайтером ряда российских политиков, PR- и GR-консультантом ряда российских корпоративных структур.[2]

Был членом Креативного совета СПС.

Well, this article makes no mention of Forbes and presents no photo evidence, but through process of elimination, I might assume this is the man who wrote the article about the fate of Misha’s parallel reality judge and feel lighter. Though again, I cannot confirm that this is true. In fact, all I can confirm is that someone is desperately needed to write a nice English Wikipedia page for the elfin Putinista journalist called “Andrei Kolesnikov” and at least clean up the page for whomever is writing Chubais’s biographies.

These Andrei Kolesnikovs are like good/evil twins or something. They’re both journalists who cover high profile politicos and contribute to widely-read newspapers and other media outlets. But one’s in with Vova’s cabal while the other is hanging out at RL/RFE and openDemocracy. When I saw openDemocracy Andrei Kolesnikov I almost had a heart attack from fear they were multiplying like pod people or being cranked out of the clone factory. Because this byline bio said, “Andrei Kolesnikov is an independent journalist and regular contributor to Russia’s leading online newspapers, gazeta.ru and slon.ru.” But another bio of him on oD reads, “Moscow based journalist, former deputy editor of Izvyestya. Author of three books, including biography of controversial politician Anatoly Chubais.” Which clears things up. Unless multiple Andrei Kolesnikov clones are contributing to oD… Which I am not ready to rule out at this point.

I am also not ready to rule out that this is really just one journalist who is using a fake face when he writes anti-Kremlin screeds so should anyone get the idea to shoot him in the brains, they would not be looking for him but someone who looks like a Spanish grad student in Chicago.

How are readers expected to differentiate between Andrei Ivanovich and Andrei Vladimirovich and whatever other journalists are out there using the name Andrei Kolesnikov? I’ve seen some English language sites prefer the spelling “Andrey” for Vladimirovich, but this is not helpful for anyone actually reading their articles in Russian. I don’t see much use of patronymics in their bylines. What a mess. What a terrible mess!

I demand the Andrei Kolesnikov of non-Kommersant Kremlin pool/Russian Pioneer fame to change his name!

I also demand you now read this positively GENIUS post I wrote about the real Andrei Kolesnikov several years ago. (Scroll down to Part II.) You wont regret it. Here’s a snippet of the genius at work, covering a Federation Council meeting:

“…Petrenko’s hairdo. It was fabulous. Maybe she goes to work every day with her hair done like that. I don’t know. But I don’t think it is possible to do your hair like that every day. You could spend your whole life fixing a hairdo like that. What was it like? Like a pastry that had fallen off the shelf and been kicked aside by an ill-tempered customer? Like a stale Napoleon cake? Like the foam they seal the windows of new buildings with that lets the bugs through any way? No. More like a ball of papier-mache with the top cut off. You wanted to touch it to make sure it was secured tightly. And you wanted to get up and jump around.”

I don’t know which or how many Andrei Kolesnikovs actually wrote that, but I think it was just one, and I think he’s brilliant and thus, should certainly not be forced to share his name with anyone else.



  1. […] discovers that the English-language Wikipedia article on Russian journalist Andrey Kolesnikov is misleading, […]

    Pingback by Global Voices in English » Russia: The Andrei Kolesnikov Mystery — May 16, 2010 @ 7:07 PM | Reply

  2. […] discovers that the English-language Wikipedia article on Russian journalist Andrey Kolesnikov is misleading, […]

    Pingback by Official Russia | Russia: The Andrei Kolesnikov Mystery — May 17, 2010 @ 2:02 AM | Reply

  3. […] descobriu que o artigo da Wikipédia em inglês sobre o jornalista russo Andrey Kolesnikov é ilusório, e […]

    Pingback by Global Voices em Português » Rússia: O Mistério de Andrei Kolesnikov — May 17, 2010 @ 8:25 AM | Reply

  4. Hm. No one has fixed this.

    Maybe I should tell Kolesnikov himself…

    Comment by poemless — May 18, 2010 @ 2:31 PM | Reply

  5. I remember vaguely some of his (their?) articles in Russian media but it was nothing special, just good craftstmanship. I even don’t remember whether he took part in bitter and utterly devastating (professionally and ethically) oligarch’s media wars of 1990s like Messieurs Dorenko and Kiselyov.

    By the way I am back from trek to Annapurna Base Camp and hopefully will start writing something. Like comment I left in your another post.

    Comment by FarEasterner — May 19, 2010 @ 3:09 PM | Reply

    • Will you be posting pictures at ET? I love your travel photos!

      Comment by poemless — May 19, 2010 @ 3:17 PM | Reply

      • I already posted some on normal Friday’s photodiaries with few words but in order to post a diary I have to write a story first then choose appropriate pictures.

        Comment by FarEasterner — May 19, 2010 @ 3:24 PM | Reply

  6. http://www.gazeta.ru/column/kolesnikov/index.shtml

    its a popular last name in russia, they are not the same person!
    tell the putinista kolesnikov to change his name to “VVP” that way there won’t be any confusion.

    Comment by sjm — December 5, 2010 @ 11:25 PM | Reply

    • Yeah, well, this “putinista” KNOWS they are not the same people, but thinks the non-putinista one should put a middle letter in there or something to differentiate. And the real Andrei Kolesnikov needs a proper English wikipedia page. It saddens me that my countrymen do not know of this genius!

      Comment by poemless — December 10, 2010 @ 6:47 PM | Reply

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